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Thread: Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    New York

    Default Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

    Hi lovely ladies.

    So recently my DH (ex) now I guess, emailed me whilst I was on holiday and told me that he no longer wants to continue working on our relationship.
    I'll tell you that it wasn't a complete surprise but was a blow regardless.
    My holiday has now become a permanent fixture and I'm trying to create a new life for my daughter and I.
    She has started to wake up 8 times or more during the night and wanting to be fed, I've never sleep trained her and we co sleep and now more than ever I actually feel as though I (selfishly) need the co sleeping as the comfort for us both i think is helping.

    However, I'm exhausted and I feel myself losing my patience to the point where I yelled at her for the first time the other night and now I feel just terrible.

    Can anyone give me advice on a nice gentle way to wean her of the boob at night and at the same time help her self settle herself to sleep without needing me to do it?

    haha .... sound impossible?
    She's 14 months.

    Also ... solo parenting, anyone doing this?
    Any tips on staying sane ... I Love my daughter more than anything in the world but it means now that i get no time for myself, even a visit to the bathroom is accomopanied by my little diamond, of course I don't mind but I'd love an hour or so just to me so I can get my head around the drastic change in my life!

    Thank you x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Montreal, Canada

    Default Re: Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

    Oh Tanpixie. I don't have any good advice. I just wanted to extend a big virtual hug.
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

    Before our family moved recently we went through a couple months where DH was working during the week in a different city and only came home on the weekends, so during the week I was a solo parent. DS had a noticeable change in behavior and temperment, becoming very clingy and wanting mommy to be right by his side ALL THE TIME. He was previously sleeping in his own bed but started refusing to go to sleep alone. Fine, we adapted. Since I got no time to myself in the evenings I adjusted my schedule so that we went to bed earlier than my usual bedtime and DS slept next to me for part of the night. Sometime in the middle of the night I would transfer him to his own bed then my alarm would wake me up earlier than usual so I would have an hour or so to myself in the morning. This is when I would clean up the house, read my email, etc. I don't know how well your DD sleeps without you, but it might be worth a try?

    I know what you mean about not being able to visit the bathroom alone. DS needs to come with me to make sure he "helps" me get the toilet paper off the role and flush. I also had to learn how to shower with him, too. He would bring in toys to entertain himself and I had to make sure he didn't get hit in the face with the spray while I bathed myself, quickly.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

    Dear Tanpixie,

    Similary to the mum in th previous post my husband is away at least 2 nights a week, sometimes 5. I have 27 month old twin girls and we are co-sleeping. They wake up some 2 to 3 times a night (each ). I figured out thay sleep most soundly the fist 4 to 5 hours and this is when i take some time for myself. But not too much - you dont want to be too tired when she wakes up at 3am... Maybe you can sleep in another room until she wakes up for the first time, sometimes they really sleep better if they dont 'smell' the milk.

    I ve always taken both of them with me whenever i had to use the bathroom. I think everybody does - i never asked my friends . When i shower they make me company and comment on my body parts .

    I do most of my household together with the girls: cooking, cleaning, dusting, laundry, taking out the garbage... and dont worry if the house i a bit messy - important is that you both are happy

    BUT having husband away a lot and not having one at all is of course not the same. Can you afford help? A few hours in day care would be a great thing for you. A baby-sitter for a few hours on Saturday morning would let you have some time on your own... Dont let yourself burn out - find help right away.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

    TP I think there is a sub forum in parenting about single parenting. Is you go there and bump a thread than other single mothers will chime in. The board isn't as active as it once was but I know Carolin and some other mothers used to talk about stuff there....

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

    I am sorry, it sounds awful!

    i am not solo but as close to as you can get, husband gone mo-fr and back on weekends but not necessarily helpful or relieving me to have time on my own. SO I mostly arrange my life to be solo mom.

    I think actually like the PP who suggested your child might miss dad, and becomes more clingy or wakes up more. Never underestimate how much they pick up. Phone conversations they overhear etc etc. SO i would reconsider night weaning if i were you, as you may still end up getting up t o comfort her, and a littly boob comoforts quicker and more efficient than anything. As for cosleeping - the same. Don't give it up too soon I don't think i would have been able to cope with out cosleeping with no one else there to takea turn when the child wakes at night.

    Practically speaking, what I did and still do is get him to fall asleep and then leave him asleep in bed (when he was little I made sure it was all secure for him, no possibility to roll in a crack etc). and then get up for a couple fo hours. It sounds like you are not working - and this getting up after the child sleeps for some hours on my own only worked really well while I was at home (until he was three) because it made no difference when we got up.

    Also as PP said, at that age i think most moms go to the bathroom with their child, mine at that age offered to wipe me ;-) which I declined thinking to myself you can do that when I am 80+ I actually used to just give him toys so i could sit in piece. And he played next to me til I was done. Depends a bit on the size of your bathroom.
    Same for showers, take her with you in the shower (not a bad way to teach her to like showering) or get up to shower when she sleeps. Or what also worked well when he was that age was to sit in the tub with him, but I did shower beforehand not wanting him to sit in my dirt. But I so missed soaking in the tub.

    i know the desperation for just an hour to yourself. But I think in this situation it may really be only feasable when they sleep.
    Also, I could not find anyone when he was around 12 months I was comfortable with to leave him alone with for an hour or take him there for an afternoon BUT i had one friend who would just come to my house and play with him for a while and i would go off and shower or sit in the bathroom with a book or whatever. So this way i was still alone in the bathroom occasionally.

    And I would say also, don't beat yourself up for yelling. You are also a person with needs. It is only human. Apologise to her and move on. That is what I did from an early early age and still do: I say to him I am sorry I yelled at you. please forgive me. and not dwell on and explain and moan but move on. Now sometimes when he yells at me (he is 4 1/2 now) he apologises and it never fails to make me smile. it has become our ritual, we reconcile and cuddle when we yelled at each other.

    And lIke PP, I did and do everything with him. Cooking, cleeaning, shopping. It is easier then trying to get them to play somethign on their own. ALso it is more natural - toddlers want to do everything you do anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Advice on being a solo parent, night weaning and sleep!?

    hey mama. with my first i was a single mom and we coslept and nursed. it was important for both of us. it kept my little guy calm and we got the most sleep that way. there will always be times where you dont get sleep, whether or not they are cosleeping, i just find everyone gets more sleep overall when you are together and nursing.

    in general the sleeping will be up and down, they go through so many things that can keep them up at night, esp if you are both going through this big change.

    just wanted to tell you its all possible as a single mom, you are doing a great job.

    and everyday i say and do things with my two that i regret. i have had many times ive yelled and i have felt terrible, you are going through a tough time. i apologize when i know i am wrong and do my best to keep calm next time. you dont need to be perfect to be a great mom.

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